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Chatham, Mass. — The Anglers (21-23) open playoff competition against the Orleans Firebirds (29-15) at Eldredge Park, Orleans tonight.
Chatham enters the playoffs as the fourth seed in the East Division, following Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the top-seeded Firebirds.
The teams will play a best-of-three series. The winner will advance to the next round of the playoffs, taking place next week.
Thursday, the Anglers succumbed to a pair of late Orleans rallies in the final game of the regular season.
A two-run home run from right fielder Josh Stowers (Louisville) propelled Chatham to a lead of three in the fourth inning, but home runs from Orleans’ Jaxx Groshans (Kansas) and Austin Hale (Stetson) equalized the game in the sixth.
The Firebirds mounted a three-run rally in the seventh, teasing victory away from the Anglers.
First baseman Nick Patten (Delaware) plated third baseman John Aiello (Wake Forest) on a single for Chatham’s breakout run in the second.
On the mound, starting pitcher Joe Lienhard (Oklahoma State) kept the Firebirds at bay, striking out five over four scoreless frames.
Nick Rand (Massachusetts Lowell) also kept a blank slate, stepping in for Reiss Knehr (Fordham) in the final stanza. Dan Hammer (Pittsburgh) made a two-inning outing in relief of Lienhard.
“We’ve been playing good baseball, we just haven’t had the result,” Stowers said. “We probably just need to have a couple more timely hits and a little less mental mistakes on the defensive side of the ball, but I think we’re right where we need to be.”
Jack Perkins (Stetson) will take the mound for Chatham tonight. In the regular season, Perkins compiled an ERA of 4.97 over six outings, most recently appearing in the team’s 4-3 extra innings loss to Harwich (15-28-1) July 29.
Following tonight’s contest, the Anglers host the Firebirds Sunday at Veterans Field.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. The extended Anglers Extra Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. — listen here: http://bit.ly/ChathamBroadcasts